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Jarrett falls behind Hutchison, Constantine in primary

State Sen. Fred Jarrett, D-Mercer Island, came in third in yesterday's primary election for King County Executive, garnering 12 percent of the vote, according to Wednesday morning's count. Former KIRO news anchor Susan Hutchison came in first with 37 percent of the vote, while King County Councilmember Down Constantine followed with 22 percent. Larry Phillips and State Sen. Ross Hunter trailed behind with 12 and 11 percent, respectively. The three remaining candidates, who ran with little financial backing, garnered less than 3 percent of the vote each.

The results, although not final, are indicative that Hutchison and Constantine are the two contenders for this November's election. The ballots were counted late Tuesday night and represent just over half of the expected turnout for the primary.

Asked about his third-place finish, Jarrett said he was disappointed but satisfied with the efforts put into his campaign.

"We had hoped that we'd do better. But, I'm extremely proud that we were out front on the issues. I'm happy that, as a consequence, the county has changed some its policy -- whether in ferry services or health care [issues] -- I think we've already had an impact," Jarrett said.

A Mercer Island native, Jarrett went into the campaign as a popular Eastside candidate for King County Executive. He earned more than $97,000 in campaign funds. Constantine and Hutchison, however, raised nearly twice as much, earning more than $307,000 and $254,000, respectively. Hunter, D-Bellevue, who was often compared to Jarrett in the race, brought in more than $227,000. The position of King County Executive pays $180,000.

Jarrett is a former Mercer Island mayor and former member of the City Council and School Board. The state senator has spent nearly his entire life on Mercer Island, graduating from Mercer Island High School in 1967. He is also a 35-year employee of Boeing.

For full statistics on Tuesday's primary, visit: www.kingcounty.gov/elections.aspx. The Reporter will publish Mercer Island voting results when information is made available.

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